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Serious Street Clashes Occur in Bern

In Bern, the capital of the Swiss Confederation, there was serious chaos. Trying to prevent a pre-election march of the right-wing conservative Swiss Peoples Party (SPP) which numbered ten-thousand, near 500 leftist active workers built a barricade in the streets in the old city, arranged an attack on restaurants and burned automobiles in the central area of the Federation.

The police used clubs and tear gas to prevent these actions. According to police data, 18 representatives of law and order and three demonstrators were wounded. Forty two of the most active of the organizers were arrested. All this happened on Saturday, which the chief of police of Bern, Stefan Huilgi, called a rainy day for democracy and freedom of expression.

On October 21st, elections for the lower chamber of the Swiss parliaments national council will take place. Being the largest party of the country, SPP, which is headed by a member of Allied council (government) Kristoff Bloker, has quite good chances of success. During election campaigns, it is contributing to a considerable increase in kindling animosities towards foreigners. 20.4 % of the 7.6 million inhabitants of the country have a foreign origin. Other Swiss parties are the majority, and the public does not accept xenophobia.

Nevertheless, SPP resolutely speaks against construction of mosques in cities and demands restriction of migration. Its speakers even defend throwing out foreigners from the country. It provoked questions from the special representative of the United Nations in Geneva regarding to struggle against racism, condemning the Swiss party for preaching animosity to foreigners.

On a pre-election poster of the SPP, white sheep expel a black sheep from the herd. Democratic circles count it as a frank display of racism. Opponents of the SPP have created a committee called Black sheep. Last Saturday, they organized the three-thousandth meeting in Bern under the motto Statement against racism. It occurred peacefully. But some demonstrators were not satisfied with it, and what resulted were street battles.

Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta


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